How Do Soldiers Carry Their Rifles?

Soldiers carry their Rifles in three position. The Patrol carry position, low ready position position, and high ready position. Each carry position will depend on the threat level. The patrol carry position is used when the threat level is low and the high ready carry position will be used when the threat level is high.

Soldiers carry their rifles in the patrol carry position when there is little to no threat. The shooting point of the rifle is always pointed towards the ground. This position is standard with infantryman because it is much safer than the older technique of just carrying the riffle over one shoulder, with the shooting end of the rifle aimed upwards.

The situation in which a soldier is in will determine the way they carry their riffle. For example, if a soldier is on a boat, they’d most likely aim it upwards because in case of accidental fire, the bullet will not shoot the boat itself and sink it. Using judgement is also expected from a soldier.

In this post, we’ll focus mainly on how a soldier carries a rifle on a tactical mission and how the carrying position will vary dependent on the threat level.

What is the Patrol Carry Position? Why Do Soldier Carry Their Rifles In The Patrol Carry Position?

Photo Courtesy: Department of Defence

The patrol carry position involves a strap that is wrapped around the back of the soldier as he rucks, while the weapon itself is in front of the soldier with the shooting end of the rifle aimed downwards. The soldiers finger will be close to, but not on the trigger (source).

When carrying it over the shoulder, it provides a much more comfortable experience when the soldier is marching with their rifle. This is because the overall weight of the weapon is distributed equally across the torso.

Especially when combined with a rucksack, the more the weight is balanced and centered, the easier it is to ruck march. This helps prevent common rucking injuries and back problems caused from rucking.

When the shooting end of the weapon is aimed downward and in front of the soldier, this also allows them to quickly access to the weapon.

The patrol carry position is utilized when the threat level is low, let’s look into how a soldier carries their riffle when the threat level is increased.

How Does A Soldier Carry A Riffle When Approaching A Known Threat Area?

When soldiers get an order to approach a threat area, they change the way they carry their rifle. Soldiers will incorporate the low ready position.

In this position, a soldier will hold the rifle at the shoulder but safely pointed downward. The soldiers finger will be close to the trigger, but not on the trigger (source).

This position is very useful as it allows the soldier to quickly transition into the shooting position when the situation escalates quickly.

Note: In the low ready position, the arms will be doing most of the work when carrying the rifle. Therefore, this position is held for a short period of time because the rifle can get heavy quickly and tire out the soldier.

How Do Soldiers Carry A Riffle Just before Firing?

When soldiers are ready to fire, they get into the high ready position. In this position, the soldier will hold the rifle to their shoulder, while aiming the rifle barrel upwards.

The riffle barrel will be aimed upwards because typically they are surrounded by friendly soldiers and aiming it downward could be dangerous (assuming they will fire soon).

Adam Sheriff

Adam is an experienced rucker and has been in the game for the past 5 years. He competed in a local ruck challenge and was hooked ever since. He has been actively helping people get into rucking and has set up local ruck events to help spread the word and encourage more people to get in on the action. When he’s not out rucking or setting up ruck events in town, he manages

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